By Barbara Gartman
Monitor Staff Writer
MABANK–It was just a group of friends, 200 or so, talking
over old times and remembering the fun of growing up in a small town
They recalled eating and socializing at Boe’s Cafe, a popular
establishment which opened in 1942 and served the city for 16 years
Some time after it closed, Dick Bramblitt, the cafe owners’ son started
an e-mail club called by the same name to keep friends in touch, who
recalled the old cafe with fondness.
He had a lot of e-mails from friends that enjoyed the “Boe’s Cafe” club
with many suggestions to get together someplace and meet each other.
Well that’s just what he and his wife, Martha, did. With little advance
warning and even less planning, the group met for the usual fun, food
The reunion took place Saturday at the Mabank Volunteer Fire Station.
“(Boe’s Cafe) was located at first on the south side of the ‘old picture
show,’ The Matex, up by Tri-County Ford, then it moved to the old
Hydrangea house location,” Bramblitt said.
Dick, one of seven children, said he was 3 years old when his parents,
Boe and Rena Bramblitt, opened the cafe.
“Mrs. Boe was the heart of the business. She was known for her
customer’s favorites, her greasy hamburgers and chicken fried steak.
People still talk about them,” he said.
A school kid could go into the cafe and get a 15-cent hamburger and a
“Mom and Dad kept a ledger for the school kids and at the end of the
year, parents would come in and settle up. No kid ever left Boe’s Cafe
hungry,” Bramblitt recalled.
Adults enjoyed the meals too, but mostly the atmosphere.
“A lot of times, people came in just to visit and to enjoy a 5- cent cup
of coffee,” he said, adding with a little visiting and a lot of fill ups
that nickel could go a long way.
The purpose of the reunion was to renew old friendships, make new
friends and to reminisce about growing up and old times, Bramblitt said.
The 200 plus visitors gave about $1,010 to the Mabank Fire Station.
Bramblitt had written a book on growing up in a small town and although
it sold out, he copied it onto DVDs, and made copies of it.
The sales of the DVDs earned $160 for Mabank Oaklawn Cemetery.
E-mails have already been coming in bragging about how much the visitors
enjoyed the meeting.
“Bless you for all the work you and Martha did. Thanks for the memories.
It was enjoyed by all. Better than any homecoming at school.” Joyce
“I think having an annual Boe’s Cafe reunion is a great idea. The young
people need to know about our history. I think this could grow into
something big!!” Cozell and Stella McAfee e-mailed.
“Dear Dick: Sanford and I enjoyed so much seeing some of the ‘old gang’
and reminiscing about the past. We loved it and thank you for organizing
the reunion,” Charlotte (Darden) Reed and Sanford Reed wrote.
“Dick, Wowweeee! What a Party! Thank you so much for all the effort. I
met so many of the friends on Boe’s Cafe. I even met a distant relative,
and he didn’t even know we were related. Was he surprised. We think you
should plan another one in the near future,” Billie Kerbo e-mailed.
“It was awesome, but passionately incomplete. We hugged but couldn’t get
back for a second. We said hi and bye almost in the same breath. Thanks
to the Bramblitt family and all other ‘E-Boeites” who made this
one-of-a-kind event possible. A new pressed flower has been placed in my
memory book,” Mary Lou Blount wrote.
The event was so successful, another reunion is being set up for some
time in late May, Bramblitt said.
“Folks, I’ve been thinking about all 200 or so of you,” Bramblitt
responded to all the e-mails. “I had a good visit off and on but it was
way to short. A quick hello, a handshake or hug. It’s killing me that I
did not get to spend more time with each of you.”
Sweet stories sought
Special to The Monitor
CEDAR CREEK LAKE– The Monitor is seeking your stories about
people you love most.
Your sweetheart stories will be published on Valentine’s
Day, Thursday Feb. 14.
Include a photograph of your loved one, or of the two of you
together along with your story.
All submissions should include the writer’s name and phone
number where you can be reached and be delivered to The
Monitor no later than Friday, Feb. 8.
Stories should be composed of no more than 800 well-chosen
words. All copy is subject to editing for clarity, grammar,
conciseness and style.
The Monitor reserves the right not to publish any stories it
Submissions may be made via e-mail to
email@example.com. Digital photos may be
sent by e-mail as large jpeg or tif files. Submissions may
also be carried or mailed to The Monitor, 1316 S. Third St.,
Mabank, 75147. It is located at the back of Groom & Sons’
hit station and church
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer
RODDY–Mabank water utility workers were hopping early
Friday morning – picking up the pieces after copper thieves stripped
wiring from the city’s Roddy water pumping station.
Workers had to switch water service over to the Whitehouse pump station.
Had there been an emergency, such as a fire or water main break, nearly
400 customers would have been without water when they woke up, Mabank
public works director Ronnie Tuttle told The Monitor.
A call received from a Roddy pump station neighbor reported hearing the
electrical generator kick in about 2:15 a.m., Tuttle said.
“That’s when they cut the wires,” Tuttle said.
When a work crew arrived, it found the water tanks overflowing.
“When they took the wires, they disconnected all the controls, so even
though the generator kicked on, it couldn’t instruct the pump,” Tuttle
Trinity Valley Electric Co-op was called to disconnect the power lines,
while an electrician from Terrell dropped everything to restore
The Roddy pump station was fully restored by 3 p.m. Friday.
While in the neighborhood, copper thieves also hit the Elm Grove Church.
The building’s power junction box was stripped, and wire that ran under
the ground to a nearby power pole had been pulled up and cut.
A funeral service scheduled for Saturday had to be moved to another
location. Church services and planned youth activities that weekend were
cancelled for lack of heat and light.
Church officials estimate the value of the copper wire at about $50,
while the cost to repair the damage and restore power for lighting and
heating is close to $1,000.
Van Zandt Constable C. B. Wiley and Mabank police Capt. Lee Orr
conducted the investigation into both incidents.
Tuttle estimates the cost to get the pump station back into operations
was $1,800 for the electrician and materials, not counting the extra man
hours needed to maintain water service.
“If we had had a fire or a main break, we would have been without
water,” he said.
County plans to
buy Vietnam Wall memorial
By Barbara Gartman
Monitor Staff Writer
KAUFMAN–Plans are underway to create a permanent Vietnam Memorial at the
Kaufman County Veterans Memorial Park.
Monday, Kaufman County Commissioners granted discretionary exemption to
purchase the 80 percent Vietnam Traveling Wall at a total cost of
A committee consisting of Johnny Countryman, Lee Ayers, Ray Raymond,
Anne Glassock and County Judge Wayne Gent, said they believed enough
contributions could be collected so that in the end the county would not
have to pay out anything on the monument.
However, the owner is requesting $50,000 be paid at the signing of the
Bickerstaff law firm attorney Tom Pollen said the county must be the
owner of the Wall, and it will be, Gent said.
“The economic benefits to both the city of Kaufman and the county will
be tremendous, if the wall is located here on permanent display,” Gent,
a Vietnam veteran, said.
Also included are plans for a small building to house computers for
access to names that relatives or friends need to look up.
In other business, commissioners:
• were reminded this week is the 40th anniversary of the Tet offensive
• accepted the tax assessor/collector’s monthly report for December as
presented by Richard Murphy.
• accepted treasurer Johnny Countryman’s monthly report for December,
quarterly report from Oct. 31 through Dec. 31 and the investment report
ending Dec. 31.
• accepted the racial profiling report from Precinct 3.
Constable Lowry Sanders said there were no “write-ups” against his
• approved the purchase of two dump trucks through the buy-board
contract for Precinct 3.
The total cost for each truck would be $96,815. The trucks will replace
two older trucks the board is buying back at a cost of $86,000,
purchasing agent Jack Sabastian said.
• approved road repair for the town of Talty per interlocal agreement.
“Talty currently has no one to work on its roads, and as long as it
doesn’t interfere with our normal work, we will do it,” Precinct 2
Commissioner Ray Clark said.
• accepted the maintenance bond for High Pointe Estates, Phase Two, and
released its construction bond.
•approved a request from Embarq to install buried communications drop
wire on the right-of-way of CR 4023, Precinct 4.
• approved budget transfers as presented by auditor Hal D. Jones.
• paid bills totaling $241,402.69.
Malakoff ISD calls $7M
By Michael V. Hannigan
Monitor Staff Writer
MALAKOFF–The Malakoff Inependent School District trustees called for a
$7 million bond election Monday. It will be held at the same time as the
school board election May 10.
If voter approve the bond, the money will fund a 10-year plan for
considerable work to the high school and the middle school, as well as
establish a replacement plan for the district’s buses and technology
This will be no ordinary bond election for two reasons:
• First, and most importantly, officials say the bond will not raise
In fact, according to Superintendent Dr. John Spies, the bond will help
the district keep more taxpayer money here in Malakoff.
• Secondly, the district is going to take a “wait-and- see” approach to
selling the bonds.
The secret to this bond proposal is Malakoff’s status as a Chapter 41
school – that and the Nurturing Nickel.
Dealing with the state
To understand the bond proposal, you must first know a little bit about
how Texas school finance works.
Under the state’s finance plan, money from property rich districts,
called Chapter 41 schools, is redistributed to poorer school districts.
Malakoff has been categorized as a Chapter 41 district for several years
and annually sends revenue back to the state in the form of “recapture.”
How much money is sent back varies, because the state continually
changes the formula. However, Spies estimates the district sends back 20
to 25 percent of its recapture-eligible funds.
However, not all of the district’s money is eligible for recapture.
The rate MISD taxpayers pay each year is a combination of two funds: the
Maintenance and Operations (M&O) – which is used for everyday
expenditures – and the Interest and Sinking (I&S) – which is used to pay
the district’s bond debt.
I&S money, or bond debt, is not counted when the state decides how much
money Malakoff has to send back.
The nurturing nickel
To take advantage of the I&S rule, Spies proposed moving five cents from
the M&O fund tax rate to the I&S fund. By doing this, he said, the rate
taxpayers pay will not change, but the district can keep an extra
$100,000 to $150,000 of the money collected.
So what does all this have to do with !a bond issue?
Well, I&S funds can only be used to pay for bonds. The five cents of the
tax rate will pay for the proposed bond – and will save the district
more than $1 million of its own money (that’s $100,000-plus not going
back to the state multiplied by 10 years).
“That’s like getting two free buses every year,” Spies said.
In the meantime, rising property values and enrollment will allow the
district to continue on with five cents less in the M&O fund.
That’s how school officials get a $7 million bond without raising taxes.
The nickel could go even further. By leaving it in I&S, as opposed to
drawing it down as the bonds are paid off, the school district could
issue bonds again in 10 years and have money for ongoing improvements.
“Almost like an endowment,” Spies said.
Wait and see
The only slight hold up in the plan for local school officials is the
One of the keys – at least for the first year of the bond proposal – is
knowing where the district will stand in M&O.
The state, however, is still working on the funding formulas, and it is
likely Malakoff will not know exact figures until late August or
Spies told trustees his confidence in the estimated figures for next
year is “at the 90 percent level instead of the 100 percent level.”
He said trustees could wait a year to call for the bond.
Trustees didn’t want to wait, however, because they didn’t want to lose
more money to the state.
“I hate sending money back,” said board president Todd LaRue. “That’s
the only reason not to wait.”
Trustee Belinda Brownlow suggested holding the election in May, but not
selling the bonds until later.
Spies agreed that was an option. By doing that, the district could make
sure next year’s M&O was where it needed to be and save recapture money.
“It’s a $100,000 benefit to do it in May and make adjustments in
August,” said Trustee Clyde Tinsley.
Trustees voted unanimously to call the bond election.